Featured Artist Aunia Kahn

Aunia Kahn discovered art as a healing force in her life. Her creative work is focused on supporting others who have experienced trauma and abuse. View more of her portfolio by visiting her website.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Fragments of Stardust” mixed media, 5″ x 7″

 

My story is a strange one. I never planned to be an artist, but here we are.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Everything the Light Touches” mixed media, 8″ x 10″

 

From a young age, I was artistic and loved art, yet a profession in the arts never crossed my mind. While growing up, I was encouraged to find a career that was practical and stable, so I went to college to become a therapist.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Collaborating with the Stars” mixed media, 11″ x 14″

 

While in college, my life took an extreme detour after I developed the early stages of an illness which would become a large part of my identity as a person and artist for the next eighteen years. College and many other aspirations would detour with me.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“From Here to Eternity” mixed media, 8″ x 10″

 

While trying to stay alive and get answers regarding managing my illness, art was my salvation and lifeline. I never created art to be successful—I created art to keep me alive. The catharsis that creating art afforded me helped me work through current trauma as well as past childhood traumas. In those early years of being sick and working on art, I met a man named Roger who opened my mind to the possibility of sharing my art with others in a gallery setting.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Oeuvre” mixed media, 10″ x 12″

 

At that time, the artwork created at the inception of my career in 2005 was much darker than it is today. It touched on subjects such as child abuse, domestic violence, medical trauma and bullying. It was equally scary for me to take these private works dealing with current and past traumas and hang them on a gallery wall.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Immemorial Elements” mixed media, 6″ x 8″

 

Yet, the idea of helping others that might be in the process of dealing with the same traumas, as well as being seen and understood was a driving force in my choice. So I took the risk. The first exhibition of my career, in 2005, was Voices Within Surviving Through the Arts. This was part of the St. Louis Arts Guild where I took on subjects of abuse and trauma and was awarded for my endeavors.

 

mixed media portrait of a raven by Aunia Kahn

“The Raven King” mixed media, 10″ x 12″

 

With this decision, I gained support from collectors and gallerists which encouraged me. I knew that even though I was sick I could still make a difference by using my art for advocacy and healing.

 

mixed media portrait of a woman by Aunia Kahn

“Pamela Coleman Smith (Pixie)” mixed media, 11″ x 14″

 

I was invited for consecutive years as a panelist for the Washington University School of Medicine’s MOHOP (Mental Health Outreach Program) and have regularly been a guest lecturer at Southwestern Illinois College, McKendree University and various other institutions. I speak on subjects such as experiences and recovery for people who have been subjected to abuse and trauma. I’ve also worked as a mentor and educator with differently-abled and abled populations.

 

mixed media image by Aunia Kahn

“The Chariot” mixed media, 8″ x 12″

 

During my career, I have been in over three hundred exhibitions in over ten countries. These exhibitions have been at places such as San Diego Art Institute, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, iMOCA, St. Louis Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, Mitchell Museum and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

 

Portrait in progress by artist Aunia Kahn

Work in progress: Aunia Kahn completes a portrait in her studio

 

One of the most important projects of my career was launching Create for Healing. Create for Healing is not only a lifelong passion project finally coming to fruition. It is also a deeply connective community-based project that utilizes the power of creativity as a tool for healing and improving one’s wellbeing, which we all need right now. We offer courses, journal prompts, workshops, and various other supportive projects.

 

Artist Aunia Kahn in her studio

Artist Aunia Kahn in her studio

 

My work, from its inception until now, is rooted in symbolism. It touches on subjects such as vulnerability, loss, life challenges, beauty, wisdom and the voice we all have inside.

 

Artist Aunia Kahn invites you to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 

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